D’ei Chochmah L’Nafshechah Parshas Va'eschanan...D’ei Chochmah L’Nafshechah Parshas Va’eschanan

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  • Dei Chochmah LNafshechah Parshas Vaeschanan

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    Shalosh Seudos1 of Parshas Vaeschanan 5768

    Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel said: There were never festivals for Yisrael

    like the fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur. During these times the daughters of

    Yerushalayim would go out in white garments which all would borrow so as not to

    embarrass those who did not have their own. All of these garments required ritual

    immersion [so as not to embarrass those whose garments were ritually defiled and

    required tevilah]. The daughters of Yerushalayim would go out and dance in the

    vineyards. What would they say? Young man, lift up your eyes and pay attention

    to what you choose for yourself. Do not focus your gaze on beauty. Look instead for

    a good family. As the verse states, Grace is false and beauty is vanity. A woman

    who fears Hashem is to be praised. The verse continues: Give her from the fruits

    of her labors and her works will be praised in the gates of the city.2

    Self-Promotion

    The Gemara records what each woman said to convince the men who attended

    that they should be chosen. Those of good family would say, Look at the family, since

    the primary purpose of marriage is to have children. Those who were unattractive

    would say, Take your marriage partner for the sake of heaven. But only on condition

    that you will adorn her with gold.

    The Gemara continues: Ulah Biraah said in the name of Rabbi Elazar: In the

    ultimate future Hashem will make a circle-dance for the righteous. He will sit among

    them in Gan Eden and each one will point with his finger. As the verse states, And they

    will say on that day, Behold, this is the G-d we hoped to and He delivered us. This is

    Hashem we hoped in; we will rejoice and be gladdened in His salvation.

    1 The lesson was delivered at the third meal of Shabbos. 2 Taanis 4:8; Taanis 31

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    Tu BAv in Netzach and Yesod

    The Arizal writes that the sefirah of Netzach is revealed on Tu BAv.3 Yet in

    another place he says that the sefirah of Yesod is revealed on that day.4 The meaning of

    this apparent contradiction is that the fifteen of Av essentially relates to the sefirah of

    Yesod. We can understand this since many matches were finalized on this day. As our

    sages tell us, The daughters of Yisrael would go out5 Of course, a match requires a

    matchmaker. This shadchan is the sefirah of Netzach which literally means victory

    and connotes perseverance in the face of challenge. At first both parties to the match

    have doubts whether the other person is truly the right one. It is the determination of the

    shadchan that irons out the difficulties and completes the shidduch.

    This is the strength of the true tzaddik who says, " " I have

    finished and I will finish.6 [The full quote of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov is, I have

    been victorious and I will be victorious; I have finished and I will finish.] This signifies

    that the main task of the tzaddik is to complete the shidduch between Hashem and the

    Shechinah. [The Shechinah signifies the revelation of Hashems presence in this

    material world through our actions, speech, and thoughts. Completing the shidduch

    between Hashem and the Shechinah means that the Jewish peopleand subsequently

    the entire worldattain a deep consciousness of Hashem in every action, word, and

    thought.] Even when there are many barriers, as the verse in our parshah states, And

    Hashem was angry with me [Moshe Rabbeinu] because of you [the Jewish people],7

    the tzaddik declares, I have finished and I will finish.

    The task of every Jew is to enter into the aspect of Netzach, holy victory, which

    is above reason or ones feelings of the moment. Commitment to victory imparts vast

    spiritual strength to achieve ones goal. We can understand this from when a person is

    involved in a struggle with an antagonist; he will work hard and try any possible

    3 Pri Eitz Chaim, Mikrah Kodesh, Chapter 4 4 Ibid, Sha'ar Chag Hashavuos, Chapter 1 5 Taanis 31 6 Chayei Moharan #218. 7 Devarim 3:26

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    strategy to win. He will force himself to stay up long hours, day and night, until he

    defeats his nemesis. It is because the source of Netzach is above the mochin of

    Chochmah-Binah-Daas, because its spiritual root transcend thought itself, that this

    attribute can awaken such astonishing strength of character. It is specifically through

    this characteristic that the tzaddikim succeed in completing the shidduch between

    ourselves and our Father in heaven.

    Marry for the Sake of Heaven

    The Gemara cites various points that different women would emphasize. Those

    of good family would focus on children, while the less comely would tell people to

    marry for the sake of heaven.

    These two statements encapsulate the essence of Tu BAv. We must always

    recall that Hashem chose us due to His great love for us. Each and every Jew is

    preciously beloved to Hashem, whatever his level. Even if he is poor, The only poverty

    is poverty of the mind.8 Even if ones actions are not seemly, nevertheless one must

    accept the aspect of Netzach, the attribute of Moshe Rabbeinu [who is also associated

    with Netzach in the order of the Ushpizin on Sukkos]. It is through each of us that the

    tzaddik moves to victory and completes the heavenly shidduch. Even when it appears as

    though we are distant from Hashem this is only an illusion since we are all bound to

    Hashem. We are His betrothed, as Hoshea HaNavi so movingly states.9

    This is the deeper meaning of the plea of the women who are not so lovely:

    Marry for the sake of heaven, lshem shomayim. The word shem [] alludes to

    Malchus. [Just as a name is not the essence of a person, Malchus is not Hashems

    essence, merely what the essence is called. Since Malchus has nothing of her own, she is

    called a name since whatever she has is shined into her from above. All that she has is

    hers in name only, for only as long as the light shines in.] Shomayim [] alludes to

    Zeir Anpin and the Shem HaVaYaH [which more closely describes Hashems essence].

    8 Yalkut Shimoni, Yechezkel 12; Nedarim 31 9 Hoshea 2:21-22

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    This statement hints at our union with Hashem above. Even if our actions arent pretty,

    we still canand mustunite Hashem and the Shechinah.

    Every Jew is a portion of the Shechinah [since we are all a portion of G-d from

    above]. No matter what we may have done, this is who we are. Every form of pain and

    suffering that arises is merely to remind us that we have more to do to complete the

    yichud by returning to closeness with Hashem. Different people lack different things:

    some people do not have children, while others are unhealthy; others lack for money and

    still others have not yet found their mate, and so on. The tzaddik takes that which we

    lack and makes a vessel from it to complete the yichud. [The quality of a vessel is that it

    is empty. The lack is the sense of our reliance on Hashems assistance and influence.

    One can only build a vessel from that which is lacking.] They do this since all forms of

    suffering are merely a reflection of the pain of the community as a whole. Yet everyone

    searches for the same solution. We all want to transform the letters , pain, into ,

    illumination. We do this through shining the light of yichud into the world by

    connecting to Hashem, each person according to his own capacity [and the vessel

    formed by that which he lacks].

    The Personal and the Communal

    Every Jew must certainly pray to Hashem to deliver him from his personal

    hardships, since the person who focuses only on the suffering of the Shechinah is very

    rare. As the Vilna Gaon taught, there are exceptional individuals who even during the

    Yomim Noraim pray for the Shechinah. Yet it is forbidden to lie to Hashem. If one feels

    his own pain and not the lack of the Shechinah, how can he lie to Hashem and pray for

    the Shechinah if this is not the truth in his heart?

    For this reason, when one is not on this level, he must beg Hashem about his

    own pain, asking Him to grant his hearts desire. Yet he must also recall that he is a part

    of the Shechinah and the inner dimension of what happens to him is a reflection of the

    pain of the Shechinah, who waits for the illumination of the supernal union. Even if one

    feels completely distant from this level, the Baal HaTanya reveals that in his innermost

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    self there is a level which is not at all far from the Shechinah. It is our task to arouse this

    point.

    The Strength to Serve Hashem

    The avodah of Tu BAv is to utilize the light of Netzach and Yesod. Every Jew

    receives heavenly strength to achieve victory. The main triumph is attained by first

    honestly evaluating of our strength, since the main reason people fall is through lack of

    faith in their ability change for the better. This is another way to understand the verse,

    " ' " An